Picking up your Christmas presents? A warning to be careful where you buy them from

26 house fires in Norfolk this year were caused by faulty electrical goods Credit: Norfolk County Council

If you're already picking up your Christmas shopping- take note of a warning about being careful where you buy them from.

With more than half of adults in the East of England considering gifting electrical goods this Christmas, Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service and Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards team have issued a joint warning to buy electrical items from reputable retailers only.

Counterfeit electrical products are likely to contain sub-standard parts that present a serious risk of electrical fire or shock – and it can be impossible to tell just by looking at the product.

So far this year, 26 Norfolk house fires have been caused by a fault in electrical equipment/ appliances, with a further 21 caused by appliances being misused. Another 36 fires were caused by faulty leads/ cables. 

Duncan Carter, Lead Trading Standards Officer at NCC, said: “We want Norfolk residents to be as safe as possible, particularly as Black Friday approaches and there are many tempting deals. Electrical items that are poorly manufactured and don’t meet safety standards are sadly still available to purchase. Please only buy from reputable retailers and ensure you register your appliances to be notified of recalls.”

Firefighters are urging people to buy electrical goods from reputable suppliers

The most popular electrical choices to gift include:

  • Electrical beauty products (e.g. hair straighteners, beard trimmers etc.) – 33%

  • Games consoles and accessories – 30%

  • Smart technology – 30%

  • Mobile devices (e.g. tablets, laptops etc.) – 30%

  • Small cooking appliances (e.g. slow cookers etc.) – 25%

  • Luxury household items (TVs, audio equipment etc.) – 17%

  • Electric bike or scooter – 10%

  • White goods – 10%

Next week is Electrical Fire Safety Week (22-28 November), with the campaign focus on encouraging people to buy electrical items from reputable retailers.